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Mountain guides are individuals gainfully engaged in one or several activities listed below and included in the list of licenced mountain guides:
- guiding clients on mountain trails and pathless terrain,
- guiding clients on ski touring,
- guiding clients on mountain climbing,
- guiding clients on glacier tours,
- providing professional instructions on mountaineering.
The profession of mountain guide can be pursued in Slovenia upon the successful completion of the training courses for mountain guides followed by a year of mandatory traineeship, a completed professional competence examination and subject to their inclusion in the list of licenced mountain guides in Slovenia.
When carrying out their professional services, mountain guides and trainee mountain guides must visibly display their badge and carry a mountain guide card issued by the Slovenian Mountain Guides Association (ZGVS) or the competent authority of a Contracting State.
Mountain guides and trainee mountain guides have to use flawless equipment when providing their professional services; they are also required to ensure their clients the highest possible level of safety through the proper use of equipment in all circumstances.
When providing their professional services, mountain guides and trainee mountain guides are required to:
- decide when it is necessary to use ropes and other belay devices;
- only accept as many clients as they, as guides, are able to guarantee the safety of, taking into account the duration, difficulty and type of intended tour, weather conditions, season and the abilities of the clients guided;
The list of licenced mountain guides is kept by the Slovenian Mountain Guides Association (hereinafter: the ZGVS) and is available on the website of the ZGVS. The list includes:
- the list of mountain guides and
- the list of trainee mountain guides.
Mountain guides and trainee mountain guides who are members of the ZGVS, nationals of the Republic of Slovenia and hold third party liability insurance are eligible for inclusion in the list of licenced mountain guides in Slovenia; nationals of other Contracting States are also eligible for inclusion. Inclusion in the list is renewed yearly by 1 March.
Mountain guides and trainee mountain guides wishing to pursue the profession of mountain guide must notify their intention for initial inclusion in the list, annual extension of their entry and its renewal if applicable. The notification deadline for each year is set by the ZGVS.
Applications for inclusion in the list of licenced mountain guides accompanied by supporting documents must be sent to the ZGVS. The application for inclusion in the list of licenced mountain guides in Slovenia (the registration form) is available at the ZGVS; the decision regarding inclusion, extension, deletion and renewal of the entry in the list of licenced mountain guides is made by the ZGVS in accordance with their Statutes.
The professional competence examination is to be taken five years after the successful completion of the mountain guide training courses and a mandatory one-year traineeship.
The professional competence examination for mountain guides is a five-day exam covering the repetition of the most important content from the basic courses focused on practical mountain guiding and mountaineering instructions, and an examination in these subjects.
After having completed the traineeship period, trainees take the professional competence exam before an examination board.
Upon passing the professional competence exam mountain guides get a certificate, i.e. a public document issued by the Slovenian Mountain Guide Association (ZGVS).
The certificate of passed professional competence exam for mountain guide includes:
- the ZGVS badge;
- full name, address and date of birth of the mountain guide;
- the indication of the passed professional competence exam for mountain guide;
- place and date of the professional competence exam;
- the signature of the presidents of the ZGVS and of the Technical Commission of the ZGVS.
The certificate of the passed professional competence exam.
The Slovenian Association of Mountain Guides organises theoretical and practical training courses for mountain guide trainee candidates.
The ZGVS schedules the training courses for the profession of mountain guide at least every two years. Applications for training courses for mountain guide are to be accompanied by supporting documents and sent to the ZGVS by registered mail; applications must include:
- the candidate's personal data, a chronological overview of all tours, mountain climbs and ski touring to be entered on a special form published online by the ZGVS and set out when training courses are scheduled;
- a copy of their most recent school report;
- a certificate issued by an occupational medicine physician attesting their physical and mental fitness to practice mountain guide profession;
- an excerpt from the criminal records.
The form "Application for enrolment in the mountain guide training course" is published on the website of the ZGVS.
Mountain guide training enrolment requirements:
- at least 18 years of age,
- at least a secondary education,
- aptitude to practice mountain guide profession:
- experience in climbing sixth grade rock routes in climbing shoes;
- experience in climbing fifth grade rock routes in mountaineering boots with ribbed rubber outsoles;
- experience in ascending ice formations with a 50°-60° incline;
- experience in skiing in all ski conditions on all terrains;
- medical certificate attesting physical and mental fitness to practice mountain guide profession;
- alpinist experience:
- rope team lead or alternative lead in at least 50 high-altitude ascents, of which at least 10 have been on rock, at least 10 on snow and ice and at least 10 on mixed terrain. One of the climbs has to be very difficult in terms of technical, physical and mental demands. At least 20 ascents have to be of the fourth grade or with a difference in level of at least 500 metres;
- at least 20 six-plus routes ascended as the rope team lead or alternative lead;
- at least 15 full-day high mountain ski touring.
Before the training courses start, the Commission (three members from the ZGVS and one member from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology) examines the applications; all candidates who fulfil the aforementioned initial requirements are tested to determine whether their fitness to attend the courses. The test is taken as part of training courses.
Together with the test, the full length of training courses for mountain guide candidates is 80 days and includes four basic courses, each in the duration of fourteen days:
- the course in basic theoretical and practical knowledge of mountain guiding and two additional days for exams;
- rock guide course and five additional days for exams;
- ski touring guide course in high mountains and five additional days for exams;
- snow and ice guide course and five additional days for exams.
Basic general theoretical and practical mountain guiding knowledge that is not covered in the first course is taught in the other three courses.
The training courses attended by the mountain guide candidates must be concluded in three years.
The course participants pay tuition fees to the ZGVS. The training costs depend on the amount of co-funding by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the number of participants and instructors, the location and the accommodation prices.
Administrator of Legislation
When carrying out their professional services, mountain guides and trainee mountain guides must have a visibly displayed badge and carry a mountain guide card.
Mountain guide card and badge are issued by the Slovenian Mountain Guide Association.
The Slovenian mountain guide badge is oval-shaped. The badge has a centrally featured edelweiss with two gentians and a knotted rope below. The name of the mountain guide is inscribed beneath the rope. The upper edge of the badge is rimmed with the inscription Združenje gorskih vodnikov Slovenije (Slovenian Mountain Guide Association), while the inscription GORSKI VODNIK (MOUNTAIN GUIDE) rims its lower edge. The back side of the badge bears the mountain guide's number.
The mountain guide card contains the following data:
- the photograph of the holder;
- personal details;
- the information regarding qualifications;
- the mountain guide's number;
- the date of issuance of the card;
- the information on registration for a particular year.
The badge and the card are public documents.
Cross-border provisions of profession
MOUNTAIN GUIDE OF THE MEMBER STATES: In the Republic of Slovenia you can provide mountain guide services cross-border / occasionally. No application or authorization is required before commencement.
All SLOVENIAN MOUNTAIN GUIDE who wish to perform mountain guide services in a Member State from time to time or temporarily must obtain a European Professional Card (ECP) for that country, as necessary.